80% of Talent Acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on the ability to hire great talent. [Source].
84% of job seekers state that employer reputation is important when deciding whether to apply for a job. [Source].
86% of HR professionals agree that recruitment is becoming more like marketing. [Source].
Notice a trend? Employer brand is more important than ever in attracting and retaining top talent. If you’re not paying attention to your employer brand, rest assured that prospective applicants, your employees and competitors will be. In the fight to secure top talent, employer brand is your ace card.
In this article, we’ll explore exactly what employer brand entails, and why it’s a fundamental to your life science recruitment strategy. Let’s begin.
What is employer brand?
The term employer brand relates to the reputation of your organisation as an employer. It amplifies key elements of your employee value proposition (EVP) – the benefits, opportunities and rewards that your offer your employees in return for their hard graft and commitment – while reinforcing the reasons why your organisation is an exceptional place to work. Employer brand is honed through carefully crafted messaging tailored to your ideal candidate personas, and a dedication to practicing what you preach; happy employees are your greatest employer brand ambassadors.
In short, employer brand helps you attract high-calibre candidates and, by ensuring you continue to deliver on what you promise, retain top performers.
Why is employer brand important?
Having summarised what employer brand is, lets discuss why it’s so important to your life science recruitment strategy.
Employer brand helps you attract top talent
The stronger your employer brand, the more likely high-calibre talent will aspire to work for you. Not just active job seekers, but passive talent too. By actively promoting your employer brand through blog posts, social media and or other channels, your employer brand reaches more people. Providing the messaging is right, you’ll be top-of-mind when they come to look for a new job. According to LinkedIn, a strong employer brand can lead to 50% more qualified applicants, which in turn can speed up the hiring process and reduce associated expenditure. A win-win scenario.
However, promoting your employer brand is only half the battle. As stated previously, 84% of job seekers state that employer reputation is important when deciding whether to apply for a job. To verify that you are who you say you are, many job seekers will seek out reviews of your life science organisation on websites like Glassdoor. That’s why you can’t fabricate your employer brand. In order to control the narrative, you need to ensure you practice what you preach. The extent to which you live and breath your EVP will be reflected in the reviews left by your employees.
Talking of employees, did you know that employee referrals are the top source of quality hires? If you’ve not got an employee referral programme, you risk missing out on source of qualified, vetted candidates. However, employee referral programs only work if your employees are willing to recommend you to their network; 57% of employees wouldn’t. By developing your EVP, you make working for your company that much more enjoyable and rewarding, which in turn will increase the number of employees recommending you to their peers, boosting your employer brand.
Employer brand helps you retain top talent
Once you’ve acquired top talent, you’ll want to hold onto them, and employer brand can help here too. As part of creating and managing your employer brand, you’ll need a firm understanding of what resonates with your employees – your EVP – and you’ll want to monitor this to ensure that your employees are satisfied and engaged. If you don’t, you risk your employer brand being out-of-touch with how your employees perceive you as an employer, meaning you’ll be communicating one message and your employees another. Who do you think prospective employees will trust?
You can keep tabs of how your employees perceive your company through regular interviews or surveys, either annually or around career milestones, for example, passing probation, receiving a promotion or an exit interview. To ensure you have the full picture, you should also undertake regular employer brand audits on social media and review sites like GlassDoor. Once you have the results, respond to any concerns raised and implement changes to address highlighted issues. This will demonstrate to your employees that you take your employment duties seriously.
But don’t stop there. Involve your employees in your employer branding campaigns. Showcase their achievements, create day-in-the life videos and publish testimonials across your employee brand touchpoints – career page(s) and social media to name a few. You could even leverage your employees social reach by asking them to circulate relevant posts on their social media accounts!
By continually refining your EVP and involving your employees in the process, you are building a better workplace. Employees want to work for companies with a vibrant culture they can be part of. In fact, your company culture should match the type of employee you want to attract! By shaping your EVP to match your employees values, you create yet another compelling reason why they should stick with you. Throw in a few retention sweeteners – training, regular appraisals, good pay and attractive perks – and staff turnover could plummet by as much as 28%!
Employer Brand impacts the bottom line
We’ve already covered some benefits a powerful employer brand can unlock, namely increased retention and attracting more qualified candidates. If you need a reminder, that’s a 28% reduction in employee turnover, and 50% more qualified applicants applying. So, not only are you reducing your need to hire through increased retention, you’re optimising your time-to-hire when you do.
On the subject of time-to-hire, LinkedIn states time-to-hire can be up to 200% faster. One of the reasons for this is that, through developing an attractive EVP and communicating elements of it with your employer brand strategy, you will spend less time selling and more time qualifying candidates. Applicants are more informed as to what you do, and want to work for your organisation.
Likewise, you won’t need to pay higher salaries to offset a poor employer brand. According to LinkedIn, organisations with poor employer brand pay at least 10% more in salaries per hire. This is further reinforced by another British study which found that one-in-four managers would be willing to take a pay cut to work for a purpose-driven position or organisation.
Finally, by investing in employer brand, you will raise the profile of the corporate brand as the two are intertwined; customers are less inclined to purchase from a company with poor employee relations, especially if there has been extended media coverage on the subject. By investing in your employer brand, not only do your reduce the likelihood of such events unfolding, but you will attract top talent, meaning you have the potential to improve your products, service and value proposition, which in turn will improve your employer brand.
For more hiring advice tailored to hiring managers in the life science industry…
- Read 7 Reasons Life Science Companies Retain Executive Search Firms.
- View our executive search solutions to see how we can help you gain a competitive edge through talent.
* Fraser Dove International is a specialist executive search firm operating exclusively in the Life Science industry. Passionate about people, we take pride in helping exceptional life science organisations source the talent they need to design, manufacture and distribute life-changing drugs, treatments and devices which transform and save patient lives.